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BOE14 days starts in Rome now-where to pre-tour?

Hi All,

Since Rick flipped the BOE14 days itinerary to begin in Rome and end in Paris- what would you for 2-3 days Pre-Tour now?

A little background: This will be my 8th RS Tour, but I will be meeting up (if not flying with - not sure yet) with friends of mine who have never been to Europe. If it turns out I do not fly with them (we live in different cities), any suggestions on where I should go Pre-Tour? I have been several places already with Rick. :)

I will be flying from Boston if that makes any difference and will be going in early July next year. We have to go by the school schedule.

Thanks for any ideas,
Gretchen

Posted by
7607 posts

As your friends have never been I am sure there is plenty to see in Rome that the Tour will not cover.

A trip to Ostia Antica would be time well spent and not be terribly tiring.

Posted by
759 posts

Gretchen, are you talking about different cities or things to do in Rome? Have you ever been to Rome before, and if so how much time were you there?

Posted by
350 posts

I second Ostia Antica. It's easy to get there via train. Great ruins and not nearly as crowded as Pompeii

Posted by
2516 posts

Rome (and a day trip to Ostia Antica as mentioned) is a good and easy choice. There’s plenty to do in Rome!

If you mean a separate town or city before the tour begins Rome - if want to go just a bit further I’ll suggest a couple nights in Orvieto. It’s an Umbrian town not far from Rome, you can get a taste of a less-big city and a bit of the famous Tuscan/Umbrian feel.

Another suggestion is 2-3 nights in Sorrento. You’ll need to get the train to Naples then transfer to Sorrento, but you can enjoy a seaside town, a bit of the Amalifi coast, and maybe a day trip to Pompeii or Herculaneum.

Posted by
2836 posts

Since your friends have never been to Europe, they may feel overwhelmed/jet lagged when they first arrive. They might prefer settling in at the RS hotel in Rome, if possible. They may not be up to taking a train soon after arrival. Of course, on a RS Tour, they hopefully won't bring much luggage.

Posted by
1182 posts

I’ll offer up an alternative suggestion. If you can fly into Milan, stay in Milan itself or it’s a quick train ride to lake como. I’ve stayed mid lake in Bellagio. It’s an easy place to spend a couple of relaxed days getting over jet lag.

Posted by
5078 posts

Does Venice work for you - or maybe them and you?

Posted by
1049 posts

Oooohh, Cyn's idea of Venice is lovely! There are multiple airlines that fly direct from the US east coast into Venice. If Venice isn't on your BOE itinerary it would give you a very different experience than the rest of the tour. It's also quite easy to get to Rome from there: 4 hours on the fast train. You could just take the train to Rome on the afternoon that your BOE tour is scheduled to meet up! There are multiple feeds on this forum addressing the question of how to get into central Venice from the airport. The train station (for that afternoon trip) is right on the Grand Canal and easy to get to by vaporetto.

Posted by
5078 posts

Oops, sorry. I’d thought that tour bypassed Venice, but sure enough, 2 nights and parts of 3 days are there. The city definitely is among the best parts of Europe, so that makes sense to have it on the tour, but then more time in Venice is better than not enough time. If the flight and meet/up possibilities make sense for Venice, then you’ll all get double the experience.

OR

The tour doesn’t include the French Riviera, including Nice, another place that would be on many people’s “best” list. So fly in to Marseille or Nice, see some of the south of France, and then work your way down to Rome. It can take the better part of a whole day by train, but split that up over a couple days. Probably wind up connecting trains at Milan.

OR
Just fly to Milan to begin with. Make reservations ahead of time, and see Leonardo’s Last Supper, which now has limited admission to protect the fragile artwork. A truly spectacular cathedral in Italy’s second biggest city, and northern Italy has a different vibe than Rome or Florence. More Italy for your money.

OR

Just get to Rome early. We were there an entire week and still didn’t cover everything. Lots of museums, churches, and historical sights that the tour won’t cover, and that the free time on the tour won’t make available. Get some Rome under your belt that the tour can’t.

Posted by
5078 posts

. . . OR consider something like what I’m scheduled to do with my husband this September, flying in to Bologna, arguably the food capital of a country that prides itself on its food. Between its meat and tagliatelle, and the ham and the cheese developed up the road/railroad tracks in Parma, and the balsamic vinegar that originated between those two cities, you all could kick things off with a Foodie’s pilgrimage. After 2-3 days in the region that’s off of Rick’s travel radar, savoring the fare and maybe doing a food tour or two, head to Rome, where the Italian dining specialties can continue.

Posted by
4556 posts

If you have a few days, there are many options close to a train line and within 1 to 2 hours of Rome. I don’t find a short train ride after arrival too taxing. The toughest part is not dozing off and missing your stop. If you have less than 2 days, I’d suggest just extending your time in Rome.

One year, I flew into Rome. On arrival, I headed to the train station and bought a train ticket to the Camucia train station where I took a short bus ride into Cortona and spent 3 nights there. It was a great place to relax for a couple days (a bit crowded with daytrippers during the day, but delightful in the evening). I also made a day trip to Arezzo.

Posted by
33 posts

There is much more to see/do in Rome than is on your tour. I recommend booking the “English” timed tour at the Borghese Museum and the Capitoline.

Posted by
149 posts

I would advocate for cities or areas not included in RS tours. For example, I don't know if any tours cover the little nation of San Marino, but it is WELL worth a visit.

Posted by
556 posts

Hi All,

I'm back. Thanks for all the ideas and suggestions. I did have the thought to just explore Rome as well, but I like the idea of Orvieto too. There are lots of big cities on this tour, so some smaller towns might be nice too. Also, I like the idea of Nice on the Riviera. I've been to both these places, but would definitely go back to both. Bologna sounds yummy though too! Ohhh, too many options....

Now, I'm just hoping they get confirmation, since they are a family of 5 and we are traveling in the summer, as many other families do. They haven't gotten it yet...fingers crossed. (Yes, I know RS staff is going through thousands of reservations, but they signed up only about 3 hours after me, last Friday, pre-Memorial Day)and I've already gotten my confirmation.

Thanks all!
Gretchen